Inside his workshop just steps from Florence Cathedral, master goldsmith Paolo Penko, along with his gemology-expert wife Beatrice and their son Alessandro, handcrafts unique jewelry pieces using traditional Florentine goldsmith techniques.
Traditionally, the famous gold florin coin was used as a gift to celebrate the birth of a child. In fact, in the 14th century, its value made the pure 24kt-gold florin a true endowment for a newborn, with the effigy of St. John representing a protective force for the child’s life.
The family would gather around the baby and put the coin in their palm; it was considered good luck if they could hold it by instinctively closing their hand.
It has long been customary for Florentines to give a fiorino as a good luck charm for baptisms and other important life moments like communions, anniversaries, weddings and graduation ceremonies, along with best wishes for “a florin today to bring a thousand florins tomorrow.”
Create your own florin:
Flatten your coin with the guidance of the master artisan to mint your own typical “Florentine florin”
Visit the Paolo Penko goldsmith workshop website